Lakeside Nature Center
Arrived at Lakeside Nature Center on April 3, 1995.
This male Barred Owl was the youngest of four owlets whose nest was destroyed during a tree-trimming operation.
While at the nature center, it was noticed that the older, stronger siblings pushed this owl away from food sources. It was weak and underweight and only half the size of the other owlets.
Later, he was diagnosed with a cataract in his left eye, which could have resulted from malnutrition (or a possible genetic defect) at an early developmental state. It took so long to rehabilitate this bird that he became imprinted and socialized with people. Because of this, his likelihood to survive on his own was decreased so it was decided to keep him at the center as an ambassador for education about Barred Owls.
Based on his size, vocalizations and behavior, it was determined that Hootie is a male.
For more information on barred owls, check out the Critter Corner entry.